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Dr. Shailendra Palvia and Mrs. Rajkumari Palvia : Altruists with an Abiding faith in Jainism
By Mahadev Desai

The subcontinent of India, a cradle of civilization is also the birthplace of Jainism. The Jain religion with its overarching philosophy of non-violence has become one of the essential spiritual traditions of the South Asian religious fabric. There are over 5 million followers of Jainism across the globe.
The three main pillars of Jainism are ahiṃsā (non-violence), anekāntavāda (invoking respect for diverse views on any issue) and aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
Jain Temples are in many parts of the world but mostly in India. In the U.S. there are over a hundred Jain Centers and Temples in 27 States including two in Georgia, Viz., Augusta and Atlanta.
Atlanta’s Jain Community, which practices Jainism, is a very close knit, progressive, vibrant and well-respected community, whose members have excelled in many fields and have contributed significantly to Georgia’s economy as well as to its cultural diversity.
The Jain Temple in Atlanta was inaugurated with great fanfare in July 2005. And in July 2015, the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA) organized a spectacular Convention in Atlanta.
It is fortuitous for Atlanta’s Jain community that Dr. Shailendra Palvia and his wife Smt. Rajkumari, who are devout Jains, have moved to Atlanta from Iselin, NJ, since June, 2021. Dr. Palvia and Mrs. Palvia have an enviable track-record of academic qualifications, professional accomplishments and philanthropy, community service and efforts to promote knowledge about Jainism.

Dr. Palvia received his Ph.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota, and B.S. in Chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India in 1967. He retired as Professor Emeritus of MIS at Long Island University (LIU) Post, He was Director of Management Information Systems program during 1997-2004. He has published over 150 refereed articles in several academic journals, conference proceedings and books. As Founding Editor and Editor, he edited the Journal of IT Case and Application Research (JITCAR) during 1999-2007, and again from 2014 to 2020. From 2002 to 2013 he organized and chaired eleven annual international smart-sourcing conferences ( in USA, India, and South Korea. He was Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Scholar during 2016-17. He was invited speaker to Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand. For his outstanding research publications, Dr. Palvia was nominated from LIU Post twice to receive Abraham Krasnoff Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award.

Smt. Rajkumari Palvia is a retired actuary from Prudential in Newark, NJ. Before marriage, she was a Professor of Statistics at KC College in Mumbai.
As ardent followers of Jainism, Shailendra and Rajkumari have attended several biannual JAINA (Federation of Jain Associations in North America) conventions and annual JAANA (Jain Adhyatmik Academy of North America) workshops organized in different cities in USA since 1990ave. They have been active members of Jain societies of Boston (1985-1995), New York (1995-2006), New Jersey (2006-2021), and now Atlanta (2021-continued). They have donated $25K to University of Connecticut Foundation to establish Bhagwan Neminath endowment for Jain Studies program in January 2021. They have also donated $25K to JAINA to establish JAINA school at Veerayatan in Bihar, India in January 2022.

Shailendra has made presentations on Jainism in Boston sometime during 1988-1992 and Hofstra University, NY sometime during 2000-2003. He was a speaker on Jainism at the multi-faith Celebration in Hicksville, NJ in July, 2018. His speech was published in the second issue of One World Under God monthly periodical in 2018. He also represented Jain religion at the Swami Vivekanand celebration at the All-Religions Harmony program organized by the Vedanta Society in New York city, NY in last quarter of 2018. Dr. Palvia has published an article on the Jain philosophy of Sallekhana in South Asian Times in 2019. He established Dr. Shailendra Palvia Endowed Jain Scholar Speaker Series ($30K) in June 2020 at Long Island University Post.
In January 2023, Shailendra and Rajkumari have donated $250K to Georgia College and State University (GCSU) to establish S & R Palvia Endowed Veetraag Vigyaan Professorship in Jain Studies.
Below is the announcement three weeks back on the Home Page of Georgia College and State University (GCSU).
Georgia College & State University is pleased to announce the establishment of the “S & R Palvia Endowed Veetraag Vigyaan Professorship in Jain Studies.”
Thanks to a generous gift of $250,000 from Dr. Shailendra Palvia and Mrs. Rajkumari Palvia, the endowed professorship will allow the Georgia College Department of Philosophy, Religion and Liberal Studies (PALS) to facilitate the infusion of Jain perspectives in courses like philosophy, religion, literature, history and art. GCSU plans to hire the Endowed Professor in Jain Studies — who will teach courses incorporating Jain perspectives — by Fall 2023.
According to Dr. Eric Tenbus, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences:
“The gift to endow a professorship in Jain Studies is a wonderful opportunity for Georgia College students to further explore the diverse religious cultures of the wider world and to learn about the similarities and differences between various religious traditions, all with the understanding that the world is becoming a smaller place and that we in higher education have an obligation to encourage our students to seek out knowledge and understanding from across the vastness of human civilization. That is at the core of a liberal arts education.”
Dr. Sunita Manian, Chair of PALS commented,
“PALS already embodies the core tenets of Jainism in its courses: Anekantwad is the basis of our liberal arts commitment to embrace the study of various perspectives: domestic and global, contemporary and historic. Courses in Animal Ethics and Social Justice embody the philosophy of Ahimsa, as it applies to human and non-human animals. And Aparigraha is the foundation of courses in Environmental Ethics, Food Ethics and Climate Change,”
The gift will enable PALS to build on the commitments of this endowment through the application of Jain principles. This adds a new dimension to the study of contemporary challenges facing humanity and the world.
The initial gift from the Palvia family is complemented by the commitment of an annual gift of $10,000 from the Jain Community of America.

Dr. Palvia is not ready yet to retire fully from his teaching career. He intends to continue teaching Ph.D. students at Kennesaw State University.
Shailendra and Rajkumari cherish their family and the close bonding. His elder son Ajay is an Economist with the FDIC in Washington DC, his younger son Anupam, after having worked with Google for 8+ years, is now Director of Data Analytics at a Hospital in South New Jersey. His daughter Anjali is an Optometrist in Carmel, IN. He is full of pride and gratitude for his late parents and siblings who have excelled in different fields. Shailendra’s youngest brother Pankaj owns CPA form in Marietta, GA. His younger brother Prashant is a Professor of MIS at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC. His eldest sister Saroj is retired Principal of a Higher Secondary School in New Delhi. His elder sister is a retired manager from Hennepin County in Minnesota and earlier was a Professor in Delhi University. His younger sister Kalpana (deceased in 2018) was a Professor of Mathematics in Indore, India. Shailendra’s father Dr. C.M. Palvia (deceased in 1993) retired from Government India as Director of National Buildings Organization; earlier he was United Nations Economic Adviser to the Caribbean Islands and Professor of Commerce and Economics in Indore, Gwalior, Nepal, and Portland State University in Oregon. His mother Lalita (deceased in 2001), a religious lady, kept busy raising six wonderful children.
Dr. Palvia can be reached through e-mail: